JEFF KOONS: Several years ago, a friend of mine, Jérôme de Noirmont, who's a gallerist in Paris, said, "Wouldn't it be great to make an exhibition at Versailles?" And I said, "That would be great." Because when I made works like Puppy or Split-Rocker, those large floral sculptures, I always thought that they were the types of works where Louis XIV would wake up in the morning, look out his window, and fantasize about making something like that-you know, he'd want to come home that evening, and there it would be.
DC: Let me ask you about the train-hanging-from-a-crane thingamajig planned for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. How's that going?
JK: What I like about the piece is that it functions like a kind of European town center to rally people around. I think philosophically it brings people into contact with their own sense of mortality. It's very visceral-a kind of sensual, sexualized performance that takes place with this powerful steam engine starting up and running and building momentum.
DC: I was just talking about you with a friend, about how you and Richard Serra seem on opposite ends of the spectrum sometimes, but you're both kind of in that steelworkers union now.
JK: Well, I thought about Richard when I came up with the idea for the piece, especially looking at the balance in the back and how much weight we would need to have there. It seems like a nice dialogue with Richard's work, considering mass and weight.
DC: Do you collect art?
JK: I collect a wide range of things: old masters; I love French 19th-century work; I have some antiquities. But it's an ongoing process. I have some contemporary works-I have a great Picasso-The Kiss. It's a really fantastic painting.the rest..